Jack Dexter takes up the running in the Group 3 Chipchase StakesPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Dexter gets favourite backers off to a flyer
Report: Newcastle, Saturday
Betfred Chipchase Stakes (Group 3) 6f, 3yo+
JACK DEXTER put a smile on the faces of the majority of the Northumberland Plate day crowd when landing the odds in the opening race on Newcastle's card, the Chipchase Stakes.
The John Smith's will taste that little bit sweeter for those at the track who steamed into the 4-5 favourite, but they were made to sweat late inside the final furlong as Mass Rally staged a determined bid to overhaul the Jim Goldie-trained four-year-old, and almost did so.
Mirza and Justineo cut out the running for most of the way, but the rain-softened ground took its toll on the pair approaching the final furlong and Graham Lee started to stoke up Jack Dexter.
The favourite looked to have things under control as the winning line approached but Paul Mulrennan conjured a stirring late surge on Mass Rally and almost got up.
Mirza hung on for third.
Winning trainer Jim Goldie said: "I am chuffed to bits. I bred him, I train him and he is named after two of the grandchildren. It wasn't easy as he got no cover, they were spread all over the place. But Graham got it spot-on when he kicked on.
"As for the July Cup, we will see how he comes out of this - and hope the rain gods are as kind as they were here!"
BetVictor responded to Jack Dexter's victory by cutting him to 16-1 (from 20) for Newmarket's July festival feature, while Paddy Power remained unchanged at the same price.